Robert Neville must keep surviving alone in New York City years after a plague has wiped out humanity and turned the rest into monsters, attempting to find a cure for the virus, his only companion his dog Sam.
So I must start by saying that I saw this film at the cinema on its release, that is pretty much the only thing I could really remember about the film. Well, and the talking to mannequins the rest I just had no recollection of at all, which I thought was pretty strange so I guess I can say that it was pretty much like watching it for the first time.
I guess another reason I found myself watching this film had to be to do with my New York trip back in July and visiting the house that is used for this film facing Washington Square Park, which is a truly beautiful part of Manhattan. That is something else that is amazing in this film seeing one man alone in New York City, being able to drive and walk around anywhere he wants. Well, from sunrise until sunset that is, once the sun has gone the zombie monsters that used to be human come out to cause havoc and chaos. Sam must set a timer and work out these times each day to ensure he can keep himself alive.
He seems to have gotten himself into a very simple schedule each day and has a dog for company and talks to the mannequins that he has set up in different places. The monsters are pretty scary and that is used in a very effective way, not too much and the build up to seeing them is impressive. We see what happened to the other humans and Robert’s family in flashback form, again that is done at a steady pace leaving you wanting to know more.
I am pretty confident that I appreciate this film a lot more now than I did after seeing it at the cinema and the very powerful performance from Will Smith. I really do think he is impressive and will even say that this is possibly his best ever role. Feel free to disagree and let me know when you think he has been better? This is on a different level in my opinion. Especially the heartbreaking scene with the dog, you know whats coming but it doesn’t make it any easier to watch – this is coming from someone who is not a big animal lover!
That is something that is just fantastic about films that your opinions can change over time and it is often worth giving them another chance many years later. So if you vaguely remember seeing this film many years ago and weren’t very impressed I think you should give it another watch as it has a great Will Smith performance along with some very interesting twists and turns. Also managing to make you think about what you would possibly do in that situation . . .